|Jordan Eberle and Team Canada salute the crowd at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatoon. (Getty Images)
Team Canada General Manager Mark Messier announced 15 NHL players that will play for Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany. Messier also announced a 16th player, forward Jordan Eberle
(Regina, Sask./Regina, WHL), has been invited to attend the team’s pre-competition camp from May 2-6 in Hamburg, Germany.
Canada can name up to 25 players to its roster and could name Eberle to the official roster at a later date, pending which players become available after the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Eberle, the Oilers first round draft choice (22nd overall) in 2008, finished the 2009-10 WHL season with 106 points (50G, 56A) in 57 games with the Pats. He led all WHL skaters in goals scored (50) and ranked second in the overall scoring race with 106 points.
The 19-year-old also had the highest points-per-game average with 1.86 points per game and was named the WHL’s Player-of-the-Month for September and October.
Eberle is well-known for his clutch performances in both the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships, where he became Canada’s all-time leading goal scorer in the tournament surpassing John Tavares with 14 goals.
Messier and the management staff, comprised of Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s director of men’s national teams, Doug Risebrough, Michel Goulet and Doug Messier, has been scouting NHL teams and monitoring the playoff situation. Messier is expected to fill out the roster once the first round of the NHL playoffs comes to an end.
“Our philosophy going into the World Championship this year was to build a young talented team that is excited to have a chance to represent their country,” said Messier. “We are very proud of the enthusiasm and excitement that the players have shown when informed of their selection. The World Championship is a tremendous opportunity for these young players to gain experience at the international level.”
Canada’s preliminary roster includes one goaltender, five defencemen and nine forwards. The roster is highlighted by a member of Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games (Perry), and 12 players with international experience. Eight of these 12 players with international experience have won gold medals with Canada at previous international competitions. Only Francois Beauchemin, Rene Bourque and Rich Peverley will be representing Canada in international competition for the first time. Seven players (Downie, Kane, Ott, Perry, Russell, Staal, Tavares) have represented Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship, but will be taking part in their first IIHF World Championship.P NAME HOMETOWN CLUB TEAM
G Chris Mason Red Deer, Alta. St. Louis Blues (NHL)
D Francois Beauchemin Sorel, Que. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
D Brent Burns Barrie, Ont. Minnesota Wild (NHL)
D Mark Giordano Toronto, Ont. Calgary Flames (NHL)
D Kris Russell Caroline, Alta. Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
D Marc Staal Thunder Bay, Ont. New York Rangers (NHL)
F Rene Bourque Lac La Biche, Alta. Calgary Flames (NHL)
F Steve Downie Queensville, Ont. Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
F Evander Kane Vancouver, B.C. Atlanta Thrashers (NHL)
F Steve Ott Stoney Point, Ont. Dallas Stars (NHL)
F Corey Perry Peterborough, Ont. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
F Rich Peverley Guelph, Ont. Atlanta Thrashers (NHL)
F Steven Stamkos Unionville, Ont. Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
F John Tavares Oakville, Ont. New York Islanders (NHL)
F Ray Whitney Ft. Saskatchewan, Alta. Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Canada can register up to 25 players on its final roster at the world championship, but only 22 players, including two goaltenders, can be dressed for each game.
Canada’s coaching staff is comprised of head coach Craig MacTavish (London, Ont.), associate coach Peter DeBoer (Dunnville, Ont./Florida Panthers, NHL) and assistant coach Billy Moores (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton Oilers, NHL)
The team will convene in Hamburg, Germany on May 2 for a four-day pre-competition camp that will include one exhibition game, on May 4 against Germany. Canada’s first game at the 2010 IIHF World Championship is on May 8 vs. Norway in Mannheim. An official roster does not have to be submitted to the IIHF by Hockey Canada until May 7, and players can be added after the preliminary round up to a maximum of 25 players.